THE HID­DEN COST

In an ex­clu­sive re­port com­piled by The Sun­day Tele­graph’s chief prop­erty writer Caro­line McGhie, we re­veal the pre­mium that par­ents pay for a good fam­ily home near one of the coun­try’s top per­form­ing pri­mary schools

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Life Property -

The search for a good pri­mary school has never been more in­tense, more cut-throat or more ex­pen­sive than it is now. New re­search car­ried out for The Sun­day Tele­graph by Sav­ills in con­junc­tion with The Good Schools Guide shows that the av­er­age pre­mium for a home near a good state pri­mary is now nearly 40 per cent, while the av­er­age paid to be near a good in­de­pen­dent is even higher. “We see that com­pe­ti­tion is huge to get into good pri­mary schools, and par­ents are keen to make a pre-emp­tive strike and move close to put them­selves in the right place be­fore their chil­dren reach school age,” says Justin Mark­ing, head of Sav­ills res­i­den­tial. The re­search looked at the top 50 fee-pay­ing and non-fee-pay­ing pri­maries out­side Lon­don cho­sen by The Good Schools Guide as high-per­form­ing favourites among par­ents and cal­cu­lated the pre­mium paid in the school’s post­code com­pared to the av­er­age in the county. “For the first child, the pri­mary school seems to be the be-all-an­dend-all,” says Janette Wal­lis of The Good Schools Guide. “Par­ents might use pri­vate prep schools in ar­eas where there are gram­mar schools in the hope that an early spend will lead to a gram­mar school place.” So pri­vate school par­ents, who pre­fer their chil­dren to be day pupils so they can at­tend rugby matches and con­certs, are now pay­ing over the odds twice — in prop­erty pre­mium and school fees. As school fees for one child can come to £100,000, the pres­sure is on for par­ents with two or more chil­dren to find good state al­ter­na­tives. The de­mand on the guide’s ad­vi­sory ser­vice has been so great that a ded­i­cated state school ser­vice has now been set up (ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion £75, phone 020 3286 6824). in­cluded screen stars such as Emma Wat­son and Hugh Lau­rie. “It is a mag­net for peo­ple from Kens­ing­ton, Chelsea and Not­ting Hill,” says Frank Speir of Prime Pur­chase buy­ing agents. “They sell in Lon­don, buy a house for half the price in North Ox­ford, where their chil­dren can walk to school. A quar­ter of my buy­ers want ex­actly this.” FOR SALE: clas­sic Vic­to­rian house in walled gar­dens on the Wood­stock Road cur­rently used as a doc­tor’s surgery on the first two floors, £2.5m Carter Jonas (01865 511444). ST JOHN’S COL­LEGE SCHOOL and KING’S COL­LEGE SCHOOL Cam­bridge: in­de­pen­dent schools PRE­MIUM 160.8 per cent Both schools are in Grange Road on the west side, which is im­mensely de­sir­able. Much of the prop­erty here is owned by the univer­sity, thus in­creas­ing the rar­ity value of any­thing which comes to the mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Chris Carey of Bid­wells. FOR SALE: six-bed­room Thir­ties house in Milling­ton Road at £1.75m, Bid­wells (01223 559507). “We have al­ready had over 20 view­ings and there is com­pet­i­tive bid­ding,” said Chris. BOLLIN PRI­MARY SCHOOL Al­trin­cham, Cheshire: com­mu­nity school PRE­MIUM 156.4 per cent “There is also the new Bow­don Free School across the way, so this pocket is very pop­u­lar among fam­i­lies with young chil­dren,” says Martin Parker of Coun­try­wide. “A three-bed­room semi will sell very quickly.” The area nudges Al­trin­cham, where foot­ballers’ pads sell for mil­lions. FOR SALE: Ashwood, Bow­don, with four bed­rooms, £330,000, Coun­try­side (0161 928 5898). BRAMHOPE PRI­MARY SCHOOL Leeds, West York­shire: com­mu­nity school PRE­MIUM 139.7 per cent “Bramhope is an af­flu­ent com­muter vil­lage, just 20 min­utes’ drive into Leeds city cen­tre, but part of the ap­peal is the school,” says Tony Wright of Carter Jonas. “To make sure they meet the en­try cri­te­ria, par­ents will move to be in the catch­ment area long be­fore the chil­dren reach school age.” FOR SALE: Claren­don House, with four bed­rooms, in Hall Drive, a se­cure gated de­vel­op­ment sur­rounded by fields and wood­land, £1.1m, Carter Jonas (01423 523423). TOLLER­TON PRI­MARY SCHOOL Not­ting­ham: com­mu­nity school PRE­MIUM 136 per cent “A small, nur­tur­ing, Of­sted Out­stand­ing school with sin­gle

Hot favourite: the pop­u­lar Dragon school in Ox­ford, left, at­taches a prop­erty pre­mium of 169.5 per cent to nearby fam­ily homes, such as this Vic­to­rian house in Wood­stock, right, which is sell­ing for £2.5m (Carter Jonas)

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